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Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Dr Kim explaining common causes of ingrown nails and the common surgical procedure she performs.

What causes ingrown toenail issues?

Ingrown toenail often forms on your toes if there is excessive irritation caused by tight footwear or wrong toenail clipping method. Any of your toenails can become ingrown, but the problem more often affects the big toe.

An ingrown nail occurs when the skin on one or both sides of a nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself grows into the skin. Redness, pain and swelling at the corner of the nail may result and infection may soon follow.

Sometimes a small amount of pus can be seen draining from the area.


How do I know if I have ingrown nails?

If excessive inflammation, swelling, pain and discharge are present, the toenail is probably infected and should be treated by an experienced Foot and Ankle physician.
If your toe nail looks like one of the toes below, then you should come see us for an appointment. If the nail is left untreated, there is a high chance it can become infected and cause you additional pain.

The best treatment course: Minor surgery

If you elect do have the minor surgery done, the procedure will be done inside our surgical room. In here, Dr Kim will carry out your successful nail surgery.

Listed below you will see in-depth surgical procedures Dr Kim performers at the Foot & Ankle Experts.


Fair warning, some of the images displayed below are graphic in nature. But they displayed the surgical procedure in more detail. This is for the people that really want to see what they are in for.


If your not one of those people, but would like to book in a consult with Dr Kim to go over your nail issue, click the button below.

But if your interested in seeing more, please keep on scrolling.

Surgical Procedure 1: Partially removing the nail


For more severe ingrown toenail (redness, pain, puss), Dr Kim can trim or remove the ingrown portion of the nail after numbing your toe by injecting local anesthetic in a painless way.

Surgical Procedure 2: Partial nail avulsion with phenol acid (PA) or Trichloroacetic acid (TCA).


Phenol acid cauterisation offers painless, quick recovery (1-2 days), cosmetically satisfying removal of partial toenail with a success rate of 80%.

Whereas, TCA cauterisation offers painless, moderate recovery rate (5-10days), cosmetically satisfying removal of partial toenail with a success rate of 98%.

Surgical Procedure 3: Modified Winograd procedure with Noel’s technique


In order to remove hypergranulated tissues, 4-5 stitches adhere to the excision site, perfect for complicated recurrent ingrown toenail with skin lesion.

This is a safe procedure even for paediatric patients to be performed under local anesthesia.

We use absorbable stitches preventing further postoperative stitch removals.

Cosmetically very satisfying with the least amount of discomfort involved.

The dressing will be changed every three days with MLS post-op laser therapy to boost your painless fast healing recovery.

Surgical Procedure 4: Removing the nail and surrounding tissue permanently (Super U Procedure)


If you have the infection and toenail problem repeatedly after the above intervention, Dr Kim may suggest removing a portion of the nail along with the underlying tissue.

Please note the procedure is very extensive and it is very unlikely to be the first or final choice of operations as it involves long recovery days.

This procedure is only fit for patients with no systemic health risk or comorbidities and onychomycosis.

Post surgical treatment:

Once your surgery is complete, we will give you a post surgical guide.

This guide will be tailored to you. We understand not everyone is comfortable with redressing their wounds. As such, we offer post surgical care in the clinic.

During this appointment, we will;

  • Clean the wound
  • Commence a short round of PBM therapy, to help the healing process.
  • Apply new dressing to the wound.
  • Give you a dressing pack for you to self manage the wound.


Q. What can I expect with my appointment with Dr Kim?

Dr Kim will access your problem toenail/s and prescribe her recommended services. If you consent, she will proceed with a procedure.

Sometimes patients come in thinking they have an ingrown toenail, and instead they have a fungal infection. It is always the safest and quickest to come in and have a professional inspect the problem area.

Q. What is the recovery time?

1 Week

Q.  Can I use my private health for the surgical procedure?

Yes you can. As long as you have podiatry coverage, we can make a claim with our HICAPS terminal.

Q.  Can I wear closed-in shoes after surgery?

Ideally no.  But we understand that some people can’t take time off work or are not allowed to wear open toe shoes, even with a medical certificate.

If you are someone that absolutely can’t wear open shoes after surgery. It is very important you clean and redress your wound every day. It is best you schedule in a follow up appointment 3 days after surgery, so we can check how things are healing.

Q. Can I get surgery in my initial appointment?

In most situations, yes you can. It is only the most extreme where we may need to book you in another day. But, when you book with us over the phone or online, we can discuss the full extent of your issue, and schedule in a little more time for your appointment, so diagnoses and surgery can happen on the same appointment.

Q. I believe I need surgery done, but I’m scared it’s going to hurt!

Have no fear. We have had countless patients come through that have thought the same thing when they entered our doors. When they left, they all said the same things, “I can’t believe it didn’t hurt at all!”.

Dr Kim has a little technique she uses to avoid almost all pain. You won’t even feel the needle of the local anesthesia!


If you have anymore questions, please feel free to call or send an email to us. We are here to help.